What We Do

We bring people together to give, volunteer and take action to help people in need and solve our community’s toughest challenges.

As a community-focused nonprofit organization, we’ve identified three areas to focus our energy, resources and capabilities—homelessness, student graduation rates and poverty.

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Committed to Racial Equity

United Way of King County is on a racial equity journey. We envision equitable and just communities where all people thrive. Systemic racism has caused our already unfair world to become even more inequitable. The only solution is to join with community and dismantle these racist systems that are at the root of the issues.

Fighting Homelessness

Seattle and King County are in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. We’re fighting homelessness because we’re all impacted by the crisis, and because we believe that all members of our community deserve safe, secure and affordable housing.

Helping Students Graduate

We believe that income, ZIP code and race shouldn’t define success in school. But right now, they do. We’re helping students graduate because we know that, for an individual or household, education is the best way to avoid or escape poverty.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Though Seattle’s economy is booming, not everyone is enjoying its benefits. Because of this, we help people get on stable financial ground so they can work toward a better future.

 How We Do Our Work

Four “pillars” serve as our foundation and guide us in our work with and in the community—effectiveness, leverage, influence and scale.

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The proven, results-based programs and organizations we invest in must be effective and have real impact. We’re talking significant results like children who participate in our ParentChild+ program being 30 percentage points more likely to graduate high school.

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We’re constantly seeking creative ways to maximize investments and impact, finding and leveraging resources to do more in the community. It’s everything from winning grants to put hundreds of AmeriCorps and VISTA members to work in the community on issues like homelessness and poverty to capturing and directing tens of millions of state dollars to get students back on track with their high school education.

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We invest in solutions that go to the root of the issue and work toward sustainable changes. This looks like advocating in Olympia for policy change at the school district, city, county, state or federal level and coming away with wins like extending the age, from 18 to 21, that youth leave the foster care system—directly reducing the number of youth exiting foster care and entering homelessness. Read more about our public policy and advocacy work.

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The work we’re doing and investing in has to have reach and be able to improve our community for more people. We’re talking reach like providing over half a million free summer meals at more than 250 sites to support families with strained food budgets or connecting thousands of people to jobs so they can get off the street and maintain stable housing.